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– contributed by Cate Conley, Museums & Archives Certificate student.

 

“We shape our buildings, therefore they shape us.” – Winston Churchill

 

When looking at the buildings that make up The University of Akron, most people will immediately recognize the newer structures on campus, such as Infocision Stadium, the Student Union, Stile Athletics Field House, and the new dorms.  But, not many people think of the buildings that existed on campus before they were considered University property and their roles in shaping not only The University of Akron, but the community of Akron, Ohio as a whole.  As students, faculty, and staff at the University or as members of the community, we have an obligation to ourselves and to those who have yet to experience Akron, to participate in the discussion of what shapes us… what shapes our city.

On May 7, 2016 from 3-5pm students will hold an opening reception to unveil an exhibit within the Akron-Summit County Public Library’s Special Collections showcase titled The University of Akron Repurposes Akron History: Polsky’s, Quaker Square, Roadway, & St. Paul’s. The exhibition highlights the significance and value of these buildings to the University, the community, and Akron’s history. The exhibition opening is free to the public, so come visit and tell us what you think! We ask you to participate in the conversation of preservation  and the adaptive reuse of these historical buildings.  Their continued use and/or demolition shapes our future not just as students, but as members of this community.

This exhibit opens during with May’s Akron Art Walk and will be available for viewing during the Akron-Summit County Public Library, Main Library (60 S. High Street, Akron, OH 44326) from May 7 through August 21, 2016. You can visit during regular library hours.

[This exhibit is designed and installed by students participating in the Museums and Archives certificate program run by the Institute of Human Science and Culture (IHSC) at the Drs. Nicholas & Dorothy Cummings Center for the History of Psychology (CCHP). For more information about enrolling in the program, please contact Dr. Jodi Kearns, jkearns@uakron.edu.]

Postcard_rev_Page_1

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-Contributed by Vanessa Facemire. 

Ever wonder what your personality says about you? Well, there’s a test for that. What about your IQ or achievement? There’s a test for that too. Would you like to be able to have someone tell you what career to choose? Well, you’re in luck because there’s a test for that too! For more than a century, psychologists have designed and administered tests and measures to assess many different kinds of human abilities and characteristics.

The history of psychological testing is long and varied. It has roots in ancient China; where the emperor instated proficiency testing on topics such as civil law and fiscal policies for public officials. From phrenology to vocational testing, scientists and practitioners have been fascinated with developing new ways to “measure the mind”. Historically, psychological tests have been used in very diverse ways across a variety of settings.

IMLS_Logo_BlackThe Cummings Center for the History of Psychology is featuring a new exhibit called “Measuring the Mind” that showcases some early ways that psychologists have measured different abilities and characteristics. Funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services through the “Museums for America” program, the exhibit gives visitors a chance to see and interact with tests and measures dating from the nineteenth century to the present.

The exhibit features a 1921 home economics test for 8th grade girls that measures knowledge of “household arts” such as clothing care and repair, childcare, and budgeting. The 1919 Woodsworth Personal Data Sheet, which measures potential emotional difficulties among WWI recruits, was specifically designed to identify soldiers who might be at risk for shell shock, which we now know as post-traumatic stress disorder. A black-and-white 1935 film depicting the different tests used to measure mechanical aptitude among potential employees is also highlighted.

Intro

The exhibit also features a variety of interactive displays. Want to test your mental acuity? Check out the weights discrimination test used in the nineteenth and early twentieth century as a way of examining the relationship between the physical world and the mental world.

Weights

Do you wonder about your motor learning ability? Check out the finger maze, developed in 1928, used to select employees for jobs requiring fine motor skills.

Finger Maze 2

Want to measure your intelligence? Check out the form board intelligence test from the nineteenth century and time yourself to see how quickly you can complete the board. Form boards were used in a variety of situations including: measuring mental capacity and nonverbal intelligence in children, as part of a battery of tests used on immigrants at Ellis Island, and during WWI to test intelligence among illiterate recruits.

Form Board 1

Visitors can also test their intelligence through the Army Alpha interactive display. Developed in WWI, the Army Alpha was the first intelligence test designed to be administered to large groups. This test was used to test new army recruits and by the end of the war, more than 1 million recruits had been tested.

Army Alpha

For more information about these tests and many more pay a visit to the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology to check out our “Measuring the Mind” exhibit. You can also schedule a research visit to examine our vast collection of psychological tests and measures.

 

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– Contributed by Rhonda Rinehart

We mourn the sudden and terrible loss of Narcisse Blood and his colleagues on February 10, 2015.  Narcisse became a friend of the CCHP back in 2006 when he took part in the “Abraham Maslow and The Blackfoot Experience” two-day conference hosted by CCHP.

Narcisse immediately captured us with his dedication to broadening understanding of the Blackfoot way of life and his deep sincerity in doing so – from explaining Blackfoot storytelling practices to the importance of repatriation efforts.  His determination, sincerity and passion for cultural research were tempered with a sense of humor and warmth that will not soon be forgotten.

Blackfoot Announcement Flier revised

Our hearts go out to Narcisse’s family and friends, his professional acquaintances and all of those in the Blackfoot community who have lost a talented and generous comrade.

narcisse_blood_wm

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– Contributed by Adam Beckler.

Richard Walk (1920-1999) is best known for his research with the visual cliff, which he invented in collaboration with Eleanor J. Gibson. However, Walk had a curious mind and a wide range of interests that extended well beyond the visual cliff. The full scope of his work is documented in the Richard D. Walk papers, which are now open for research at the Cummings Center for the History of Psychology.

Richard D. Walk, 1960s

Richard D. Walk, 1960s

The visual cliff apparatus, developed by Walk and Gibson at Cornell University in the 1960s, was used to study depth perception in humans and animals. The visual cliff created the illusion of a cliff by connecting transparent glass to an opaque patterned surface. On one side of the apparatus, the patterned cloth is immediately below the glass, and on the other side it is several feet below the glass. Walk’s experiments studied depth perception in human infants and a variety of animal species by examining the factors that determined whether or not the subject would cross the threshold of the “cliff.”

Baby on Visual Cliff

Baby on Visual Cliff

Goat on Visual Cliff

Goat on Visual Cliff

Interested in all kinds of visual perception, Walk studied how humans perceived emotion in body language. He conducted experiments in which the subjects would try to identify emotions based on body language alone.

Emotion Perception Image

Emotion Perception Image

Emotion Perception Image

Emotion Perception Image

Walk, an Army veteran, also studied fear and anxiety in Army paratroopers during test jumps. Not content to take a hands-off approach to his research, Walk himself performed a test jump in order to fully understand the process.

The Richard D. Walk papers contain research and writing on a wide variety of subjects, including depth perception, art perception, emotion perception, fear and anxiety in paratroopers and athletes before competition, as well as experiments in wine tasting. The papers also document Walk’s time as a professor and student mentor, his published works, and his correspondence with other psychologists. Search the finding aid for more information.

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Contributed by Emily Gainer.

Werner Wolff (1904-1957) was a man of many interests – psychology, anthropology, graphology, and religion. Gordon W. Allport wrote to Wolff on March 24, 1952: “In fact, I think you are the broadest-gauged psychologist alive” (Box M4845, Folder 4). Wolff’s research and writing in these areas are documented in the Werner Wolff papers, which are now open for research at the CHP.

 

Werner Wolff portrait, 1944.  Box M4844, Folder 1.

Werner Wolff portrait, 1944. Box M4844, Folder 1.

Wolff was born in Germany and completed his doctorate under Max Wertheimer at the University of Berlin in 1930. He was a Lecturer of Psychology at the University of Barcelona and Madrid from 1933-1936, before coming to the United States in 1939. Wolff taught at Bard College in New York from 1942 until his death in 1957.

Wolff’s German passport. Wolff left Germany in 1933.  Box M4844, Folder 2.

Wolff’s German passport. Wolff left Germany in 1933. Box M4844, Folder 2.

 

Wolff may be most remembered as the originator of experimental depth psychology. His first book in English was The Expression of Personality: Experimental Depth Psychology (1943). Additionally, he studied expressions and graphic form, specifically that unconscious movements and handwriting are keys to an individual’s personality. He also translated the hieroglyphics of the ancient natives of Easter Island and the Mayans.

 

Wolff studied “forms of expression (expressions of personality)”, part of which was to take a person’s portrait, then split the portrait down the middle and reverse half the face.  The new portrait of the person’s “right” and “left” face was shown to the person, who was asked which face he preferred.  This type of study reached a general audience when it was covered in Life magazine on January 18, 1943.

Wolff studied “forms of expression (expressions of personality)”, part of which was to take a person’s portrait, then split the portrait down the middle and reverse half the face. The new portrait of the person’s “right” and “left” face was shown to the person, who was asked which face he preferred. This type of study reached a general audience when it was covered in Life magazine on January 18, 1943.

 

Wolff’s research and involvement in the psychology field brought him in contact with some notable individuals. For example, the papers contain correspondence with art and artists, such as Langston Hughes, Louise Bogan (Poet Laureate), and Archibald MacLeish (Pulitzer Prize winner).

 

A letter from Langston Hughes to Wolff, 1951. Box M4869, Folder 4.

A letter from Langston Hughes to Wolff, 1951. Box M4869, Folder 4.

 

Letter from Vice President Richard Nixon responding to Wolff’s proposal for an Inter-American Institute of Psychology, 1957. Box M4898, Folder 2.

Letter from Vice President Richard Nixon responding to Wolff’s proposal for an Inter-American Institute of Psychology, 1957. Box M4898, Folder 2.

 

Wolff placed this 1955 letter from Helen Keller in a folder titled, “Handwriting”.  One of Wolff’s main areas of study was how handwriting and signature relate to one’s personality. Box M4857, Folder 4.

Wolff placed this 1955 letter from Helen Keller in a folder titled, “Handwriting”. One of Wolff’s main areas of study was how handwriting and signature relate to one’s personality. Box M4857, Folder 4.

 

For more information about the contents of the Werner Wolff papers, search the finding aid. Please contact us to view the manuscript materials.

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Contributed by Emily Gainer.

In a 1986 paper given at an APA convention, Erika Fromm wrote, “I have pioneered quite a bit in my professional life, taken on joyfully many a challenge and explored novel things. Now I am at an advanced age, but nonetheless I hope to continue to investigate new things and to fight for what I believe in for some time to come” (Psychoanalysis and Hypnoanalysis: A Professional History and a Challenge, Box M5197, Folder 9).  Fromm’s pioneering, challenging, and novel contributions to the field of psychology are documented in her manuscript papers.  These papers are now available for research at the CHP.

Erika Fromm (1910-2003) was born to a Jewish family in Germany.  During 1933, she received her Ph.D. in experimental psychology from the University of Frankfurt, studying under Max Wertheimer.  After fleeing Nazi presence in Germany and Holland, Fromm immigrated to Chicago in 1938.  She worked as a research assistant, held a private psychotherapy practice, and began teaching in higher education. In 1961, she became a professor in the psychology department at the University of Chicago, where she would remain until her retirement.

Erika Fromm at an SCEH event in Newport Beach, 1973. Box M5135, Folder 10

Erika Fromm at an SCEH event in Newport Beach, 1973. Box M5135, Folder 10

Fromm is considered a pioneer in the use of projective psychological testing in the United States. Fromm’s greatest impact is in the fields of psychoanalysis and hypnosis. During her career, she published over 100 scholarly articles, trained thousands of clinicians, and gave workshops across the United States. Fromm continued her work well after retirement, publishing her final book in 2000.

In an early draft of her contribution to the book “Models of Achievement: Reflections of Eminent Women in Psychology, Vol. 2” (1987), Fromm summarizes her experiences as a psychologist.  Box M5198, Folder 3

In an early draft of her contribution to the book, Models of Achievement: Reflections of Eminent Women in Psychology, Vol. 2 (1987), Fromm summarizes her experiences as a psychologist. Box M5198, Folder 3

The Erika Fromm papers document the professional life of a psychoanalyst and clinical educator. The papers include correspondence, course materials, research files, and publications. Topics of particular note are hypnosis, self hypnosis, hynotherapy, hypnoanalysis, intelligence, dreams, and brain trauma.  They also document Fromm’s professional positions and involvement in professional organizations, notably the IJCEH and the SCEH.  Files relating to the self-hypnosis study conducted by Fromm are also found in this collection.

Caption: The Erika Fromm papers contain extensive files on Fromm’s self-hypnosis study.  Study participants kept diaries of their experiences (1976).  Box M5222

The Erika Fromm papers contain extensive files on Fromm’s self-hypnosis study. Study participants kept diaries of their experiences (1976). Box M5222

Diaries from the self-hypnosis study were also transcribed (1976). Box M5220, Folder 14

Diaries from the self-hypnosis study were also transcribed (1976). Box M5220, Folder 14

Search the finding aid for more information.  Please contact us to view the manuscript materials.

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Dr. John A. Popplestone, founder and original director of the Archives of the History of American Psychology passed away in Akron, Ohio on September 15, 2013.

Photograph taken by Rick Zaidan (1991)  for 'Akron Magazine'

Photograph taken by Rick Zaidan (1991) for ‘Akron Magazine’

Dr. Popplestone earned his doctoral degree in psychology from Washington University in 1958 and was a faculty member in the psychology department at The University of Akron from 1961 to 1999.

He and his wife, the late Dr. Marion White McPherson, established the Archives of the History of American Psychology in 1965 with support from The University of Akron.

He directed the Archives until his retirement in 1999.

Photo taken in 1992 upon receiving a plaque in Recognition of Exceptional Contributions to Research in History from the American Psychological Association

John A. Popplestone and Marion White McPherson with a plaque in Recognition of Exceptional Contributions to Research in History from the American Psychological Association (undated)

We in the history community owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Popplestone and Dr. McPherson. The Center has come a long way since John and Marion began collecting and storing psychology’s history in a small room in the university library. The Center has grown in ways that our early founders could not have anticipated and we are grateful for their early  foresight and perseverance.

John Popplestone, W. Horsley Gantt, and Bernard Weiss at the annual APA Meeting (1969)

John A. Popplestone, W. Horsley Gantt, and Bernard Weiss at the annual APA Meeting (1969)

Dr. Popplestone and and AHAP student assistant examine a tropostereoscope (undated)

John A. Popplestone and an AHAP student assistant examine a tropostereoscope (undated)

Marion White McPherson and John A. Popplestone in the AHAP Stacks (1992) Photograph by Rick Zaidan

Marion White McPherson and John A. Popplestone in the AHAP Stacks (1992)
Photograph by Rick Zaidan

Marion White McPherson, John A. Popplestone, Sharon Ochsenhirt, and Dorothy Gruich at the annual APA Meeting in ____

Marion White McPherson, John A. Popplestone, Sharon Ochsenhirt, and Dorothy Gruich at the annual APA Meeting in 1992

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